The Glenville Veterinary Clinic

Disaster Preparedness for Pets

dog first aid kit

When disaster strikes, don’t be caught unprepared! Plan ahead and follow these tips.

Assemble an emergency kit
Pack a back pack or sturdy container with your pet’s essentials, including:

  • Written plan for alternative locations to bring your pets if they can’t come with you
  • A sturdy leash for dogs and a sturdy carrier for smaller pets (this can double as your container), clearly labeled with your contact information
  • Medications – at least a 2 week supply
  • 2 weeks’ worth of food (remember to get pop-top cans or include a manual can opener), bottled water, dishes, and cat litterbox with litter
  • First Aid kit
  • Contact information for your veterinarian
  • Medical records (in plastic sleeves) – be sure to highlight any medical problems or allergies
  • Current photos of your pets (laminated or in plastic sleeves)
  • Toys and treats
  • Cleaning supplies, paper towels, baby wipes and trash bags
  • Blankets – for bedding and also to “scoop up” a scared pet
  • It’s also a good idea to store pets’ photos and other essential information on your phone
  • Be sure to rotate out medications, water, and dry food every couple of months

Safety starts at home
Always bring pets indoors at the warning of a storm or other dangerous situation. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.  Choose a “safe room” in your home such as a basement or interior room (preferably without windows) on the lowest floor in the case of tornadoes or other severe storms. In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home. Fill up bathtubs, sinks, and buckets ahead of time to ensure you have access to clean water (especially if your home is on a pump or a well: no electricity, no water).  Remember to keep your emergency kit close by!

ID is the key
All pets should wear a collar with ID tags at all times. If your phone number changes, be sure to get new tags right away with updated information. It’s also a good idea to have your pets microchipped by your veterinarian. A tiny microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) implanted under your pet’s skin can be scanned by animal shelters, veterinarians, and dog control officers. This number is linked to you in a database and serves as permanent identification in case your pet is separated from you.

Arrange a safe haven
If you must evacuate your home, never leave your pets behind! You may not be able to return for a long period of time, and if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. Not all disaster shelters accept pets, so be sure to keep a written plan ahead of time of where you could bring them. Keep a list of boarding kennels, animal shelters, and hotels who accept pets. Your list should include facilities both inside and outside of your immediate area. Also ask friends and relatives (near and far) if they would be willing to take in your pet.

With all this talk about your pets, don’t forget the humans! Assemble an emergency kit for each human member of your family, including: medications, water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlight, radio, multi-tool such as a Swiss Army knife, cleaning and first aid supplies, blankets, several changes of clothes and shoes, important phone numbers, current photos, and information on health insurance and any medical conditions.

Facebook has become the go-to place for information – it’s a great place to post updates on local conditions and your whereabouts for family and friends.  Be sure to “like” the Glenville Veterinary Hospital page  here.


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